Accepted Paper:

Multiple locations, multiple time: how to spot and analyse it in a biographical interview?  


Nathalie Ortar (ENTPE)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the possibilities and constraints of the biographical interview of mobile workers experiencing a multiple time experience.

Paper long abstract:

During a biographical interview the interviewee recalls his/her life. All the process of the interview is there to reshape a linear story according to the linear Newtonian acceptance of time. A story has to have a beginning, childhood and an end, the actual time of the interview. By doing so extraordinary events are stressed, those which have marked a turn in the life of the interviewee during his life cycle.

The difficulty to obtain informations about a repeated time and to spot them as being meaningful during the interview becomes all the more complex when the interviewee experiences different times or has experienced different times. In the case of multilocation the interviewee is there but continues also to live a time and a life where he is not physically present. For example a mobile worker who still “lives with” his family, experience a multiple time experience. The contiguity of those times cannot be retranscript by the linearity of the biographical account based on events and facts. Time distortions, circularity and parallelism do not appear or only on the margins of the interview.

Based on biographical accounts made with French and British mobile workers as well as second home owners we will analyse the possibilities and constraints of the method due first, to the need to apprehend the life of the interviewee in different places, places the researcher does not know, secondly the various support used to help recall the different time-space the interviewee has experienced.

Panel P02
Exploring the biographical method